Esoteric Dissertations from a One-Track Mind

March 7, 2008

Rolling Stone: The Myth of the Surge

Filed under: politics — Tags: — codesmithy @ 9:35 am

Rolling Stone has an insightful article called “The Myth of the Surge.” (h/t crooksandliars)

If we want to look at why the war is costing so much and not achieving the results we expected, the article provides some answers to why that is the case. Quagmire seems a fitting way to describe it.

Hopefully it will give some context to what is really going on when “fifty-three people were killed and 125 were wounded in two bomb attacks Thursday evening in a Baghdad commercial district.” Or when the news story says:

Also Thursday, the U.S. military said a U.S.-backed Iraqi group helped American troops find an “al Qaeda in Iraq torture house and prison.”

A local leader in Sons of Iraq — the name of the Iraqi militia or grass-roots group helping the U.S. and Iraqi militaries — provided intelligence that led troops Wednesday to the facility, located 20 miles south of Baghdad, the military said in a news release.

An American troop commander, was quoted as saying the local leader “wants to clean up the area” since “AQI killed half his family.”

Soldiers found “a house full of materials used by insurgents for torture.”

The U.S. military also said Thursday that coalition troops in Iraq killed four insurgents and detained 26 others in raids Wednesday and Thursday targeting al Qaeda in Iraq.

Know that the story is probably no where near as unambiguous as it is portrayed. We don’t know language. We don’t know the culture. The troops live in their bases, then go out and kill and arrest Iraqis based on information that is at best questionable. The U.S. military is being used to pull off local political power plays on people that latched on extremists because they offered protection and money caused by the power vacuum left in the wake of the invasion.

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